Original Article

Exercise, Sleep Quality, and Physical Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Julia Kay Wolf, PhD, Jeralynn S. Cossman, PhD


Objectives: Sufficient exercise and high-quality sleep are important for good health, and they may be particularly crucial during the coronavirus pandemic. Sleeping difficulties and insufficient exercise are prevalent in the United States, however, and data indicate little to no change—or even worsening—of these health behaviors before the pandemic. This study explores how exercise quantity coincides with sleep quality in the United States during the pandemic and how both ultimately relate to physical health.

Methods: We used logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression to analyze data from the 2021 Crime, Health, and Politics Survey sampled from the National Opinion Research Center’s AmeriSpeak panel. Survey responses were collected between May and June 2021.

Results: Results show that more typical weekly exercise and more exercise during the pandemic are significantly associated with higher odds of better current sleep quality and sleep quality during the pandemic, controlling for a variety of sociodemographic factors. Both exercise activity and sleep quality are also significantly associated with higher odds of good physical health.

Conclusions: These findings support the literature that increases in exercise frequency and improved sleep quality are linked and are also associated with better physical health outcomes, even during a global crisis.
Posted in: Infectious Disease136

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